Fact Check on Romney’s Statements about Renewables in First Debate
SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith recently stated that the loan programs’ interest payments will likely net federal taxpayers some $8 billion in revenues. That, of course, is in addition to the benefits of putting some 60,000 people to work doing good things for the nation’s future.
Former DOE Director of Financing for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Capital E President Gregory Kats testified to Congress earlier this year that the Department of Energy loan guarantee programs have “approved 28 loans worth $16.1 billion dollars, and has so far experienced two highly publicized defaults (both in the fall of 2011): Solyndra and Beacon. These loans were for $535 million and $43 million, respectively.” The total defaults, he said, “are likely to net out to $300 million to $400 million. This is roughly 2 percent of the amount guaranteed.”
The truth is that Beacon Power, is still in operation, and one of the companies Romney used as an example of Obama administration profligacy, electric auto manufacturer Tesla Motors, is paying back its loans and recently announced plans to expand its retail operations.